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#1620339 - 12/05/2018 00:47 Coupe sunroof repair/replacement
F1ANG Offline
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 22/06/2010
Posts: 570
Loc: Carlisle
Hi guys & girls.

I've got a couple of questions for anybody with knowledge of coupe sunroofs...

Basically I'm having some paintwork done on my coupe, the sunroof has always been fully functional, and reasonably water tight (has leaked a little in the past, but only ever after a torrential downpour and if I've parked it on a slant, nose facing down etc) anyway i supplied the painter with a new genuine sunroof seal to fit, Hoping it would then withstand any future heavy rain fall.

The painter contacted me today asking if I could get another sunroof glass, because under the seal, the metal around the glass had seriously corroded (odd to me, because there's no other rust anywhere on the car!) So knowing I had a full spare sunroof assembly from a low mileage car, I pulled it out the garage this evening to inspect.

After stripping the seal of this spare unit, much to my dismay, it was exactly the same! To the eye with the seal on looked absolutely perfect, then under the seal, literally nothing but flakey rust!

So my questions, to anybody with knowledge on the following:

1) is it possible to buy new glass replacements? If so where from?

2) is it possible to remove the metal from the glass, treat and/or replace as necessary?

3) are there any aftermarket sunroofs that would be a direct replacement, and still do the same functions? Tilt, tilt + slide etc...

Worth mentioning there is no other rust to be seen anywhere else on the entire sunroof mechanism (only on the metal around the glass) so I'm guessing they're prone to corrosion there.

Any help / advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

P.s. have you checked your sunroof lately?

Angelo.

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#1620340 - 12/05/2018 04:52 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
Kelv27 Offline

Forum is my job

Registered: 25/06/2007
Posts: 4398
Loc: Malaysia..Glasgow at heart
Angelo,

This is the exact reason why your dad sent me a sunroof the last time. As far as i know, there isn't any replacement glass/frames available.

I also looked at how the frame could possibly be repaired..but the difficult part is that the frame has a small metal lip in which the seal 'hooks' on to. In most cases, this lip is totally gone and disintegrated.

I'm not sure if there are any aftermarket sunroofs out there. If there is, I would imagine that the sizing would be slightly off anyway. Probably easier to delete the sunroof in its entirety.
_________________________


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#1620342 - 12/05/2018 08:58 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
H_R Offline
Club member 1114
My life on the forum

Registered: 30/07/2012
Posts: 1609
Loc: Dark side of the Moon
I don't see it being a problem making new frames that fit and work and don't look too unsightly!
However the biggest problem i think would be removing the frame from the glass without damage, or welding the lip without damaging the glass
perhaps we need to have metal panel roofs fabricated as the only viable option?

I have 2 sunroofs one has only minor corrosion on the lip on just one corner but too scared to weld it incase it damages the glass, the other spare is a bi worse but not had any time to play with them

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#1620371 - 13/05/2018 10:29 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: Kelv27]
F1ANG Offline
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 22/06/2010
Posts: 570
Loc: Carlisle
Originally Posted By Kelv27
Angelo,

This is the exact reason why your dad sent me a sunroof the last time. As far as i know, there isn't any replacement glass/frames available.

I also looked at how the frame could possibly be repaired..but the difficult part is that the frame has a small metal lip in which the seal 'hooks' on to. In most cases, this lip is totally gone and disintegrated.

I'm not sure if there are any aftermarket sunroofs out there. If there is, I would imagine that the sizing would be slightly off anyway. Probably easier to delete the sunroof in its entirety.


Yeah cheers kelv, you got lucky there mate, finding an immaculate one from a UK car! I've no idea how the frame could be repaired, as you say that lip would be almost impossible to fabricate.

I think I'm just going to pull the seal off the one that's on the car, treat the remaining metal and refit the seal as best I can, if it works it works, if not... Back to the drawing board and I'll have to hunt for a replacement.

I'd never delete the sunroof, as it's partly the reason I bought the car, absolutely love them, specially right back on full tilt, matching the arch lines of the car love

I'll know more tomorrow, as the body shop is back open then, I'll send you some pics on FB thumb

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#1620372 - 13/05/2018 10:34 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: H_R]
F1ANG Offline
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 22/06/2010
Posts: 570
Loc: Carlisle
Originally Posted By H_R
I don't see it being a problem making new frames that fit and work and don't look too unsightly!
However the biggest problem i think would be removing the frame from the glass without damage, or welding the lip without damaging the glass
perhaps we need to have metal panel roofs fabricated as the only viable option?

I have 2 sunroofs one has only minor corrosion on the lip on just one corner but too scared to weld it incase it damages the glass, the other spare is a bi worse but not had any time to play with them


I think everybody with a sunroof is going to be looking for some sort of viable option over the course of the next few years.

I see what you mean about damaging the glass, and it's not like it's a straight bit of glass you could easily replace either, as it's curved.

I'm going to take my spare one to the body shop tomorrow, so the guy can have a look at it, see if it can be removed / fixed 'some how'

I'll update on here when I know more.

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#1620379 - 13/05/2018 14:07 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
Edinburgh Offline
Club member 225
I AM a Coop

Registered: 04/03/2007
Posts: 10000
Loc: Auld Reekie
This has to be a common problem which has been treated in many ways from stopping the whole shebang up to complete refurb/exchange with (luckily) better condition part.

If it weren't for the evident hassle involved I'd be glancing in FCSS direction to investigate a group buy but I fear it might be pretty costly.
_________________________


So there, Photobucket...

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#1620388 - 13/05/2018 23:25 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
mr_nobut Offline
Club member 993
Making a profit

Registered: 06/05/2009
Posts: 319
Loc: bristol
Angelo, i’ve got the same problem. Took my seal off and replaced with a new only to find the metal frame below rusted away.

I’ve been looking for a few years but unfortunately even ‘the. spare’ ones i’ve bought seem to have suffered the same as it must be a weakness in the frame manufacture.

Unfortunately after many hours of reasearch I found that no one else makes a replacement/similar one as the coupe as it is unique.

I have toyed with fitting a bigger new one but the cost is massive!!

i’d be interested in hearing if you do find a solution, i’m waiting on another second hand one but imagine it will be similar!!

I love my sunroof too but it’s starting to drip!! rolleyes
_________________________
inky goodness!!

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#1620412 - 14/05/2018 11:35 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
Master_Mariner Offline
Club member 583
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 16/09/2007
Posts: 401
Loc: Freedom
My sunroof likewise has started to corrode under the sides of the sunroof.

I have purchased a replacement unit- but presume the original issue that causes this will only rear its head in any new unit in the years to come.

I suspect the answer may come form a specialist/sunroof company who can create the glass and bind the fittings on in manufacture - if the current glass proves to weak to restore in its current form.

For info-in a non scientific test over the weekend-the spare sunroof unit felt not far off the weight of a passenger seat.

So a fair amount of top heavy weight in sunroof coupes. But imagine you would have to be going some to actually feel it that much on the road.

Regards

MM

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#1620447 - 14/05/2018 18:02 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: Edinburgh]
Countrycruising Offline
Club Rep Europe, member 914
I AM a Coop

Registered: 12/09/2006
Posts: 14477
Loc: FCSS 01684 593187
Originally Posted By Edinburgh

If it weren't for the evident hassle involved I'd be glancing in FCSS direction to investigate a group buy but I fear it might be pretty costly.


I have been trying to resolve the 'rusty sunroof frame' issues on and off for the past 5 years, having them re-manufactured is too costly and even if we could have them made we'd need to reuse the original glass.
Fiat designed the coupé sunroof as a bespoke size so Bravo. Brava etc etc don't fit, I purchased several units second hand to physically try but no joy.
After market has been looked in to, issue we have here is the OE hole size in the roof panel is quite large so we're very limited to what will fit when the frame and rails are removed, after market will also need a none sunroof head lining so something else that needs to be factored in.
At the moment I'd advising owners who have light corrosion in small areas to tackle it now with rust stop and paint, and for the owners with heavier rust issues to leave it closed and pull the relay so it can't be accidentally opened.

It is a big problem and one that will seriously effect sunroof models in the future, even to the point of water ingress damage writing them off so some reverse engineering and some thinking outside the box is needed on this.
_________________________

www.facebook.com/fiatcoupes

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#1620460 - 15/05/2018 00:24 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: Countrycruising]
mr_nobut Offline
Club member 993
Making a profit

Registered: 06/05/2009
Posts: 319
Loc: bristol
Joe, point we’ll made.

I think I actually made my sunroof worse by pulling off the old rubber and fitting a new one thinking it’d help.

The old rubber was actually holding the frame together!!! I’ve now temporarily bonded and filled in the holes in the frame/rubber with flexible black gutter sealant to hold it all together!!

I would advise those with a sunroof to pop it off (only held on by a couple of screws) and treat the frame with rust prevention and some hamarite type paint. Don’t be tempted to replace rubber as it might actually make it worse!!

I’ve hopefully found another that could be a bit better, they are becoming like hens teeth... cry
_________________________
inky goodness!!

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#1620469 - 15/05/2018 08:52 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
Countrycruising Offline
Club Rep Europe, member 914
I AM a Coop

Registered: 12/09/2006
Posts: 14477
Loc: FCSS 01684 593187
David I blame Partsworld for selling the new seals and not advising owners to check the condition of their sunroof first.
Many have done exactly the same as yourself, pulled the old seal off and with it the rusty corners so the new seal won't fit back on as there's nothing there for the barbed shape to grip to, a real 'oh crap' moment for all involved.
_________________________

www.facebook.com/fiatcoupes

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#1620470 - 15/05/2018 10:01 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
H_R Offline
Club member 1114
My life on the forum

Registered: 30/07/2012
Posts: 1609
Loc: Dark side of the Moon
I tried using gutter sealant but it just made a mess and I don’t think it ever cures so I cleaned it up and tried silicone sealant

I think that the actual issue is the rubber lip does not Water proof on its own so water gets under then has no where to go other than sitting in the seal against the metal work
So the solution is to bond down the seal to the glass, it’s just a case of using the right stuff and doing it neatly

Cannot remember what my original one looked like but I believe there was a slight gap on the join so that explains why it rusted
My other sunroof I painted with epoxy 2 part paint must admit I have not looked at it since but I’m sure it’s no different now from when I repainted it!

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#1621770 - 12/06/2018 16:07 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: H_R]
Taz Offline
My job on the forum

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 1442
Loc: Kent Coast, smugglers paradise
Just to add, my poxy frame has the same issue, finally bit the bullet, not as bad as I thought...but 2 of the front edges are missing in bits, but the radii are there, thankfully with some careful heat to the frame, the glass is easily separated, going take the frame into work, shot blast with light glass bead, then go about epoxy primer then repair...shite design, wish they had made the frame stainless !

I wonder if Marcus could make a replica outta fibreglass ?

Bonding is easy, and whatever they used at st Cobain was poorly applied inadequate adhesive.

....knew I should have bought Non sunroof one ! crazy
_________________________
The ONLY 2.4 LE smile


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#1621805 - 13/06/2018 20:12 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
sharman Offline
Making a profit

Registered: 13/04/2014
Posts: 207
Loc: norwich
Just thinking out loud,, could 3d printing be a viable solution to some of the now unavailable parts.

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#1621825 - 14/06/2018 15:28 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: sharman]
Taz Offline
My job on the forum

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 1442
Loc: Kent Coast, smugglers paradise
Def possible, most of the pressing don't need all them extra curves etc...

smile
_________________________
The ONLY 2.4 LE smile


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#1621835 - 14/06/2018 21:02 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
jonnyboy54321 Offline
Club member 1630
On a journey

Registered: 22/08/2017
Posts: 132
Loc: Surrey
What an irony this thread is.
My yellow resto coupe is non-sunroof (I orefer a glass top but looks like I've dodged a bullet!).
My blue sprinty has a glass roof - but I don't want it in there as need the extra headroom as its already half prepped as a track car.....

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#1621838 - 14/06/2018 21:20 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
Gunzi Offline
Club Member 189
Forum is my life

Registered: 30/08/2007
Posts: 6562
Loc: Southsea
There is a how to guide for removal of the sunroof, should you be able to refurbish the frame.

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#1621844 - 15/06/2018 04:58 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
Andrewseamaster Offline
Reaping the fruits

Registered: 14/01/2006
Posts: 73
Loc: Kames, Argyll, Scotland
Webasto don't make any? They are shite but I do like to have it fully open on sunny days. Also the bonding I am sure is poor. I have had my coupe twice and I remember an annoying creak from the fold down seat area in the past, turns out the rear screen bonding isn't up to snuff and it's moving about!

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#1622360 - 27/06/2018 16:52 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: Andrewseamaster]
Taz Offline
My job on the forum

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 1442
Loc: Kent Coast, smugglers paradise
Just to add... I've refurbished my sunroof frame.... it'll never be concourse....but it's fixed.

Ended up shot blasting the lot, then remade the 2 missing edges with GRP tape, then resing the lot

Worked well, only pain was refitting the seal.

Took 3 attempts, and certain bits needed realigning with a rubber mallet....

I left the seal out in the sun to soften, then rolled into the groove with a hockey puck. Certain bits I added some non setting butyl sealant.

Just painted the back frame with gloss enamel

The seal sits better than when new...but was a lot of aggro getting two of the bends to lie flat..you have to pull it into the bend... Would have been hard work if the bends had corroded away!

I reckon an easier fix is to replace the seal with one that clips onto the edge of the glass and bond. Then the rusty upturn you just cut off & dress flat.

Removing the frame took 10minz with a blowtorch on the metal to gently heat it to about 80deg c ...

A u seal with a 10mm compressive seal would suffice....

That's what I'll do next time !

Edit : some pics of what you may see !!!


click to enlarge


rusty as hell !

I had to cut off the rust from the back of the glass too & prep.

All finished


click to enlarge


Cheers crazy
_________________________
The ONLY 2.4 LE smile


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#1622387 - 28/06/2018 16:34 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
H_R Offline
Club member 1114
My life on the forum

Registered: 30/07/2012
Posts: 1609
Loc: Dark side of the Moon
Interesting so you removed the frame from the glass without damage? and just by gently warming?

Was the glass marked as to where to realign when bonding back on or was it measured carefully before removing?

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#1622395 - 28/06/2018 18:17 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
Taz Offline
My job on the forum

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 1442
Loc: Kent Coast, smugglers paradise
Glass came away easy...

I simply cut the old seal into 4 bits and placed n s e w to centralise, then clamped gently to the steel frame....

Easy really.

Yup, the glue used is rubbish, with a small plastic wedge, the glass came away in about 10 mins... maybe less ! Naturally, aim the flame at the steel, not the glass !!

Cheers.
_________________________
The ONLY 2.4 LE smile


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#1622419 - 29/06/2018 12:02 Re: Coupe sunroof repair/replacement [Re: F1ANG]
Master_Mariner Offline
Club member 583
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 16/09/2007
Posts: 401
Loc: Freedom
Hats off to you for getting the glass out so easily,

I had a look at mine two weeks ago and did a bit of experimental teasing at fixings and pulling of screws and it wasn't looking a smooth removal process.

I re-stated everything-and aim to re-finish with rust inhibitor where necessary during the summer. Then keep it closed and try and not think about it for a while.

MM

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